Mira Costa’s Sasha Medvidovic was unbeaten and seeded No. 1 in the 150 lbs. weight class going into the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships last weekend in Visalia.
She did not get the gold medal she wanted, but became the first Mira Costa girls’ wrestler to medal twice in the state tournament with her second bronze medal.
Medvidovic defeated Marlene Salinas, senior, from Terra Nova in the third-place match by a score of 2-0 in double overtime to win the bronze.
“Although it hurts that I will never be a state champion, which has been my goal for two years now, I am still proud of my performance and winning bronze," Medvidovic said.
She finished the season with a 29-1 record.
“She defeated the 9th and 10th ranked girls in the nation on her journey to third place,” said Mira Costa girls’ wrestling head coach Jimmy Chaney.
Her only loss came against state champion Jerzie Estrada, junior, who is ranked No. 4 in the United States and pinned Medvidovic at 1:17 in the first period.
Her achievements at Mira Costa set a standard for future girls to beat.
“Being the first girl to medal twice is an honor, but I hope my proteges surpass that record,” Medvidovic said.
She wanted to thank those that gave her advice and coached her the last three-and-a-half years; coaches Gurrola, Tad, Chaney, Black and Huerta.
“Wrestling has been amazing for my self-confidence and has taught me how to fight through anything that life throws at me," she said.
She had to fight back a letdown after losing in the semifinals and won a hard fought 2-0 victory to get the bronze.
“Going into my last match I knew the girl would be tough because she had pinned the girl I had beat 8-6 for first at CIF,” Medvidovic said. “I also knew she had been doing a lot of throws and so I needed to be really careful in any tie-ups in the neutral position.”
She went on to say, “I wrestled defensively and we ended the third period of the match 0-0.”
No one scored in the first overtime either.
Then Medvidovic went against her normal patterns and decided to start on bottom and was able to earn a point to break the tie.
“I escaped from bottom making the score 1-0 and a stalling point was added to make it 2-0 with 30 seconds left,” Medvidovic said. “I barely managed to hold her down for those 30 seconds (to end the match).”
Medvidovic had a bye in the first round, defeated Sierra Van Rossem 14-2 in the second round. She pinned Aniseta Acosta at 4:35 in the quarterfinals before facing Estrada.
Chaney said Medvidovic was not ranked in the top 15 in the United States but is now, which is attracting a lot of attention from college coaches.
“Sasha is going to be missed as she goes on to wrestle in college,” Chaney said. “She has been a great leader for our team.”
She plans to wrestle at UCLA with Mira Costa’s first state medalist, Ariel Floro, who was in attendance to see Medvidovic wrestle.
Mira Costa had two other girls compete. Allysa Nocum finished in the top 12 and Viviana Ramirez finished in the top 24 and both are just juniors.
Selma won the girls’ team title with 142 points. Northview was second with 85, Corona third with 79 and Mira Costa was 25th with 29 points.
“Our girls team finished strong,” Chaney said. “It is our highest performance ever.”
The Mira Costa boys also wrestled at Masters, which is the stepping stone to state. This year no one is moving on.
“Our season came to an end (at Masters),” said Chaney, who also coaches the boys. “Our boys team had five CIF placers last weekend, but unfortunately, none of them were able to get through Masters.”
He added, “Nevertheless, they had a great year as a team. This is only the second time we had five wrestlers qualify for Masters.”
Brothers Tyler and Jacob Gordon are just juniors so they will be back. Seniors that wrestled were Hanul Kim, Will Curtis and Jamie Krigsman, who is going to wrestle in college also.